In Focus

Torquator Tasso: an outstanding German horse with an Italian name

The 80-1 shot upset the bookies with a stunning run at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

It has to be one of the biggest upsets in the 101-year-history of Europe’s most famous horse race, said Greg Wood in The Guardian. At the start of this year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, few punters gave Torquator Tasso – named after the 16th century Italian poet – the slightest hope of scooping the £2.5m first prize. 

In one of the strongest Arcs for several years, the German-trained colt, ridden by Arc debutant Rene Piechulek, was a 69-1 shot on the French Tote – and 80-1 with British bookmakers. And for the great majority of the race, there was no sign that the bookmakers were due a surprise, said BBC Sport.

With less than a furlong to go, it looked to be a two-way race between “well-fancied rivals Tarnawa and Hurricane Lane”. But then came one of those “what the hell’s that” moments, said Brough Scott in The Times. Appearing unexpectedly on the outside, Torquator Tasso made a spectacular dash to the line. He “drove into the lead just 50 metres out”, and finished three-quarters of a length clear.

The result was met with stunned silence in the grandstand – but perhaps it shouldn’t have been. As Torquator Tasso’s trainer, Marcel Weiss, pointed out, German horses have often done well at the Arc – with Star Appeal having pulled off an even more spectacular victory in 1975, winning at starting odds of 119-1.

Recommended

Champions League final guide: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid
The Uefa Champions League trophy on display in Paris ahead of the 2022 final
The big match

Champions League final guide: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Is Joe Biden taking a tougher stance on Taiwan?
President Joe Biden in meeting
In Brief

Is Joe Biden taking a tougher stance on Taiwan?

The Time Traveler’s Wife: a ‘problematic’ adaptation of the hit novel
Theo James and Rose Leslie
In Review

The Time Traveler’s Wife: a ‘problematic’ adaptation of the hit novel

A stunning end to the Premier League season
A remarkable comeback sealed Man City’s fourth title in five years
View from the terraces

A stunning end to the Premier League season

Popular articles

Is Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously ill?
Vladimir Putin
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is Russian President Vladimir Putin seriously ill?

Are assassins trying to kill Putin?
Vladimir Putin hosting a meeting in the Kremlin via video link
Behind the scenes

Are assassins trying to kill Putin?

What could happen if China invaded Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

What could happen if China invaded Taiwan?

The Week Footer Banner